Background

An annual report that companies use as an input into risk assessments and to conduct due diligence on their supply chains shows that most of the 131 countries and territories reviewed are continuing to make progress toward eliminating the worst forms of child labor. Doing so is one of the criteria for eligibility for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Companies are also paying more attention to this issue in the face of increasing efforts by federal agencies to enforce prohibitions against imports made with child labor and forced labor.

The annual report from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs tracks from year to year whether a country has made significant, moderate, minimal, or no advancement in eliminating the worst forms of child labor. It also includes nearly 2,200 country-specific recommended actions on how best to combat labor abuses.

For 2021, nine countries received an assessment of significant advancement, 73 achieved moderate advancement, 37 made minimal advancement, and 9 saw no advancement. (In the chart below countries with a + moved up this year, those with a – moved down, and the remainder saw no change.)

Significant advancement

Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire(+), Ecuador, Guatemala(+), Honduras(+), Jordan(+), and Uzbekistan(+)

Moderate advancement

Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belize(+), Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Gambia(+), Ghana, Guinea(+), Guinea-Bissau(+), India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kiribati, Kosovo, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico(-), Mongolia(+), Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger(+), Nigeria, Norfolk Island, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru(-), Philippines, Rwanda, St. Lucia(+), St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa(+), Sao Tome and Principe(+), Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone(+), South Africa(+), Sri Lanka, Suriname(+), Tanzania(+), Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda(+), Western Sahara, Zambia

Minimal advancement

Algeria(-), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia(-),Botswana, Cambodia, Central African Republic(-), Djibouti(-), Dominica(+), Eswatini, Falkland Islands, Gabon, Guyana(-), Haiti(-), Iraq, Kazakhstan(-), Kenya(-), Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Montserrat(+), Nicaragua, Pakistan(-), Papua New Guinea, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha(+), Solomon Islands, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu(-), Ukraine, Vanuatu, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Yemen, Zimbabwe(-)

No advancement

Afghanistan(-), Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Eritrea, Grenada, Niue, South Sudan, Tokelau

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers a comprehensive suite of services to help companies address forced labor concerns around the world, including supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation. ST&R also maintains a frequently updated web page offering a broad range of information on forced labor-related efforts in the U.S. and around the world. For more information, please contact ST&R at supplychainvisibility@strtrade.com.

Copyright © 2022 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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